Gor host Sofapaka, seek to go top

Meanwhile 2008 champions Mathare United will travel to face a relegation battling Zoo Kericho at the Kericho Green Stadium

In Summary

•Gor trail league leaders Kakamega Homeboyz by a point and will be out to topple the race's dark horses as well as reduce their matches in hand to one.

•However,assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo admits that the 2009 champions are equally poised to bag the three points after sharing spoils with a bottom placed Chemelil Sugar last weekend

Gor Mahia's Kenneth Muguna shields the ball from Sofapaka's Mohammed Kilume in a past match
Gor Mahia's Kenneth Muguna shields the ball from Sofapaka's Mohammed Kilume in a past match

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia will be hoping to open a two-point gap at the top of the table when they host Sofapaka at the Moi Stadium, Kisumu today.

Gor trail leaders Kakamega Homeboyz by a point although they have two matches in hand and will be out to return to where they have belonged in the recent past.

Unlike the past season, the record champions have this season faced optimum competition in their quest to retain the title with Tusker, Homeboyz, KCB and Ulinzi Stars all in the frame. They have an opportunity to rise to the top for the first time this year should they beat Sofapaka.

However, assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo has admitted that the 2009 champions are equally hungry for a win after sharing spoils with bottom-placed Chemelil Sugar last weekend.

Gor may be forced to do without the services of Ghanaian and Ugandan stars Jackson Owusu and Juma Balinya, who, according to Odhiambo, had not secured their working permits by yesterday.

The two who joined in the ongoing transfer window missed their last weekend 3-0 win over Shield holders Bandari.

“Sofapaka are always hard to beat and we are anticipating a tough match. We are glad that we do not have any injury concerns and the boys are aware that a win today will see us move to the top of the league,” said Odhiambo, a former Sony Sugar head coach.

“Balinya and Owusu are yet to be cleared but we are hoping that they will soon get their work permits to guarantee them playing time.”

Meanwhile, 2008 champions Mathare United face a relegation-threatened Zoo Kericho at the Kericho Green Stadium. Mathare coach Salim Ali is banking on the preparations they had during the two-week break to reap maximum points.

“We have worked on the mistakes we had during the previous encounter against Kariobangi Sharks and we are good to go,” said Ali.

The ‘Slum Boys’ are 10th on the log with 24 points while Zoo are ranked 12th with 14 points.

“We had sufficient rest time since our last match. We have trained well and polished the few areas we were weak in our previous outing,” said Salim, a former Ulinzi Stars tactician.

“We have played test matches throughout the break to assess the players and to ensure they did not lose the rhythm they had against Sharks. We do not have any missing players.”